With around 35,000 motorcycles stolen each year in the UK, locking yours’ up properly is the most important thing to think of when storing your bike, or simply leaving it parked up anywhere; whether it’s in your ‘safe’ garage or on the street.
Generally towards the Winter/Christmas period more motorcycles are stolen for a number of reasons, whether it is to earn more money for gift giving or because a lot of bikers have stored their machines for the winter period and therefore may not be checking on them as often.
When it comes to motorcycle locks there are a lot of options to choose from depending on where your bike will be parked/stored and how frequently you will need to use or move your motorcycle.
Here are the main mechanical motorcycle locks that are available:
- Chains & Padlocks: Great for securing your motorcycle to an immovable post or ground anchor
- Cable Locks: Useful as a lighter and easy to carry alternative to a heavy chain & lock, but generally easier to tamper with or cut through
- Disc Locks: Easier and faster to lock and unlock by simply locking your brake disc so the bike can’t be rolled away; for when you’re parked somewhere temporarily.
- U-Locks: Lightweight and simple to use U shaped bar with locking bar; mostly used by putting the U bar through a wheel to prevent it from being rolled away.
- Steering Lock: Although it seems obvious here are the basics; the easiest motorcycle lock to apply, usually by the turn of a key. Locks your handlebars and forks in a set position so the bike cannot be steered.
Although all of these motorcycle locks are great solutions to preventing thefts, it is useful to know some tips on WHEN and HOW to use them so that they are effective as possible at keeping your pride and joy where you left it!
Chains & Padlocks
- The best way to use a chain and lock is by securing your bike to either a secure post that can not be removed easily, or a ground anchor that is set in the ground with concrete or tarmac.
- Always try to wrap the chain around a part of the motorcycle that can not be removed and does not have any opened ends. Although, on some bikes this isn’t possible so going through your rear wheel is most effective
- Chains and Padlocks are great for keeping your bike safe when it is parked up some wehere for a long period, or overnight because removing the lock will require either cutting it which will make a lot of noise, or removing the wheel (if you did it that way) which takes longer than a thief would like to spend on stealing your machine.
- All of the same instructions apply for using a Cable Lock as with using a Chain and Padlock.
- Cable Locks are generally not as strong as chains, which means they are easier to cut through, and won’t deter thieves as well as chains would.
- Although, they may not be as secure as chains, cable locks are are a lot lighter and easier to carry and store than the usual hefty chains. Meaning they are a good alternative if you are away from your house for the day, and parking the bike up beside a road or in a car park.
- The #1 Tip for using a disc lock is to put it through the disc on your rear wheel! Thieves want to spend as little time as possible tampering with any security device to take a bike, and the rear wheels takes a lot longer to remove than the front wheel; so by fitting a disc lock to the rear wheel it means that the rear wheel would have to be removed and replaced to be rolled away. Making your bike a lot less appealing to a possible criminal.
- When it comes to motorcycle locks, the disc lock is probably the simplest and quickest way to secure you motorcycle and is also easy to carry with you anywhere you go!
- As with Disc Locks, U-Locks are most effective when you put them through your rear wheel, meaning that the wheel can’t be turned and would need to be removed and replaced for the thief to roll it away.
- U-Locks can also be used instead of a padlock to tie the two ends of a chain together.
- An extra feature of U-Locks is that they can be used to secure your helmet to your motorcycle, whilst you are away from your bike!
As we mentioned earlier, for most people putting your steering lock on every time you leave your bike is second nature. But there are some tips for using your steering lock:
- Your steering lock can be broken pretty effortlessly and quietly, so always use a secondary security feature to keep your bike safe.
- After some time your steering lock pin can get a bit worn, meaning the handlebars can be moved slightly whilst the steering lock is on, and therefore making it easier for thieves to ‘get a good swing’ and break your steering lock even easier. So consider replacing your steering lock pin if you notice extensive play.
Using the right motorcycle lock, and using it properly can be the reason a thief walks away from your bike or attempts but never actually steals your pride and joy. So consider these tips next time you leave your bike somewhere.